Shed makeover : Day 4

Posted by jerry on December 31st, 2004 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

You know how I said I daren’t turn around? Well here is the rest of the shed!

Shed makeover

hmmm time for some creative thinking here, oh and over there too!

Shed makeover

Well I had planned to build a cupboard or two, but an early foray to the shops saw me return with a small drawer unit for AU$5.00 from the Salvos shop. And then i remembered there was a secondhand building supplier in Fyshwick. So I headed off in the trusty van and found a huge cupboard unit with a formica top for AU$88.00 which I duly brought home and then puzzled – it took two very big and burly blokes to lift the thing into the van, and now I’m home, there’s just weedy little me!

I emptied the contents of the two shelf units and removed everything out to the carport. Then I spotted my neighbour and asked for some assistance. He said ‘No worries mate…” and he promptly disappeared. Oh well. Then ten minutes later he returned having rounded up most of the brickies labourers in the district – who were only too happy to help and satisfy their curiosity at what I was up to in the shed.

I thanked them profusely and we stopped for a bit of a chat about what I was doing and how I was doing it, and then promised to get together later on for a beer.

Back to work, I sawed a cutout to enable the counter top to fit around one of the shed supports that was getting in the way, and then transferred the contents of the shelf units into the new cupboard. Now we’re making progress…

shed makeover

And that was about it for Day four – it being New Years Eve – and my wife and I’s Anniversary, we went out for dinner, and on our return, joined the neighbours for a New Years get together – and that most refreshing ale!

The fireworks were good – we watched the Sydney display on TV – and there as considerable discussion about the the tragic Asian tsunami.

Shed makeover: Day 3

Posted by jerry on December 30th, 2004 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

Well, the most expensive part of the makeover so far was today – AU$25.00 for a half sheet of peg-board and about six bucks for some framing timber. I did get some hinges, so I was able to hang the door on the corner cupboard as you can see here;

shed makeover

The next thing I did was to fit a proper woodwork vise to my workbench. The thing is now recessed so that the fixed jaw is in line with the bench. I had to add a packing piece underneath so the whole vise would be flush with the bench top. It was fiddly work and took me about an hour. As you can see, it’s not the world’s neatest job, but it works. The vise is a cheap Chinese import but will do the job. I will eventually add some wooden jaw protectors, but that will be for another time

shed makeover

The reward was going to get some pegboard – Carba-Tec in Fyshwick is selling off some excess pegboard sheets at a discounted price – I picked up a half-sheet (there was no way I could fit a whole sheet in the van!

Anyhow I got the sheet home and cut it to fit between two horizontal frame members of the shed. It is awkward stuff to handle – and to get around the problem of trying to support it with one hand while attaching it with the other, I screwed a small piece of spare pine stock to the lower wall beam to provide a stable base to rest the pegboard on while I attached it at the top. It was then easy to add two more screws to the top and the same at the bottom before removing the temporary support.

I then cut two pieces of 45x19mm pine to length for the upper and lower surrounding frame, then cut two pieces to fit the sides and I added these to the pegboard starting with the bottom and then the two sides and finally the top which then had the side pieces to rest on. Here is the result:

shed makeover

So that’s it for day three of the shed makeover. Tomorrow, being New Year’s Eve I’ll tackle one of the smaller cupboards and paint the doors. And I can start to put my tools away properly. And that will be one end of the shed completed – I dare not turn round because in order to get one end cleaned up, of course I had to move everything to the other end which is now TWICE as cluttered as it was before! It’s like the Cat in the Hat all over again 🙂

But I have a plan for the other end…

Until tomorrow then

Shed makeover – day 2

Posted by jerry on December 29th, 2004 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

Day 2: The day dawned cool and bright. Today would be the day of the cupboards. I set to with gusto levering off the floorboarding that comprised the bench tops. Whoever put this together must’ve used a whole carton of nails! After a close examination of the bench tops I made gentle but firm use of the oft-maligned ‘wrecking bar’ or crow bar.

There was an unholy screeching sound as the nails came free, and I quickly had a large pile of really grotty floorboards cluttering up my carport. Then a revelation… this was not one integrated cupboard set, but three units bolted together!

shed makeover

So it was time for a re-think and a coffee. This opened up new possibilities for re-engineering the existing cupboard space. I checked out the mess in the other corner:

shed makeover

Hmm. Time for another coffee… perhaps I should have a little lie down until the spring cleaning feeling passes. I went back for another look and a think. Meanwhile the other inhabitants of the shed came out to see what I was up to, and whether I would disturb their plans for an afternoon nap on a sunny part of the cement floor.

shed makeover

At that point, inspiration struck – I could reconfigure the cabinets to produce a continuous bench along the entire width of the shed. So with much grunting and emptying of cupboards, a relocation of the stored melamine-faced chipboard, and a relocation of my timber off-cuts stash, I set about moving the cupboards into position.

I settled on a straight across configuration after considering the merits of building another corner cupboard, and with the cabinets in position I fitted new tops to form a continuous bench. With the tops screwed into place I moved the bench I had made off to the side where one of the cabinets had been. I then brought the power tools back in and found suitable uncluttered cupboard space for them. And here is the result at the end of Day Two – a big improvement so far (compare with the before photos!):

shed makeover

shed makeover

Tasks for Day Three: purchase some pegboard to organise my loose tools and attach it above the mitre saw, I also need to fit the corner cupboard door (I did cut one to size but I still haven’t been out to buy hinges), and build perhaps two more standard overhead cupboards – I’ll post the design when I build them – tomorrow or the next day


Shed makeover – Day 1

Posted by jerry on December 28th, 2004 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

With the rush for Christmas projects over I went out to the shed to have a play on the lathe, when I was confronted with my own slack work practices! Just look at how cluttered this corner is!

Shed interior
So that was that. It is time for a major reorganisation and de-cluttering of my shed – I have ten days in which to transform the shed into a an efficient workspace.

After checking out the excellent Fine Woodworking site for some ideas on good workshops, I decided to build some more cupboards, saving money where possible by re-engineering some existing cupboards and building in some decent storage.

I figured that kitchens were equivalent workspaces and so I looked for plans for kitchen cupboards – especially corner cupboards which i figured would present the greatest challenge. There are plenty of cupboards to buy and assemble, but no plans!

So here it is folks:

How to build a corner cupboard.

First a detailed plan is needed to get the sizes right:

Shed interior

Then select some chipboard – you can use MDF – I had a piece 1800x600x19mm (6’x3’x¾”)
Measure and cut three squares of 600x600mm (3’x3′). This will form the top, bottom and middle shelf.

Then draw a diagonal and measure 300mm along two adjacent sides and draw a diagonal to join these marks – this is then cut leaving you with a diamond shape. Repeat for the other two pieces.

Shed interior

From the opposite right angle corner measure out about 100mm along the two adjacent sides and connect with a line and then cut along this line so you have a truncated diamond shape – repeat for the other two pieces. The top, bottom and shelf are now ready.

Now take another sheet of MDF and cut two rectangles 450mmx300mm (1’6″x1′) for the two sides and one piece 450x150mm (1’6″x6″) for the back

Using sturdy corner clamps connect the top and bottom with one of the sides and screw, dowel and glue the side to the top and bottom pieces. Repeat for the other side.

Shed interior

Before adding the back, slide in the shelf and clamp it in place leaving a gap of around 250mm between the shelf and the top, and 300mm between the shelf and the bottom. Screw it into place with the two sides.

Now add the back. The corner cupboard is now ready for mounting on the wall.

Shed interior

I’ll tackle the doors tomorrow. As you can see, I removed the existing cupboards, and decided to re-engineer them for better strength and fit. The taller one I cut down to 450mm by removing the door handles and sawing the the cupboard along the face and sides down to the first shelf. I then re-fitted the top hinge to the doors and after a clean-up, I re-hung the cupboards next to the new corner cupboard, making sure that the bottoms all lined up to give a clean eye line. By reducing the taller cupboard and raising it a little, I have also opened up the work-bench area in this corner. Here is the result at the end of the first day – total cost about AU$30 for the melamine chipboard and about $2.50 for about a dozen screws and glue:

Shed interior

Tomorrow I’ll do the cupboard doors and replace the bench top. If I have time I’ll build two more cupboards to provide added storage.


A fun Christmas

Posted by jerry on December 25th, 2004 — Posted in Journal, Music

With an electric fiddle and a bodhran (Irish frame drum) as gifts what else must one do other than pass a little time on Christmas Day recording some tunes, with my daughter Eve on mandolin for her Will-o’-the-Wisp fire show that she is taking to Queensland tomorrow for the Woodford folk Festival!

I’d appreciate it if anyone could shed some light on the manufacturer of the electric violin – I believe it was made in Guangzhiao in China but there is no maker’s label. It sure sounds great though! The closest visual seemed to be the Zeta violin, but I’d love to know more about it.

Electric violin

And here is the bodhran

Bodhran - Irish frame drum

It wasn’t all laying down tracks and burning CDs, Eve managed to test her modified stilts to her satisfaction – the modification worked! You see, when I made the stilts, it seems that I had over-estimated her foot size so the straps were too loose. But a little re-routing appears to have solved the problem, so now we have a very serviceable pair of strap-on stilts (see my previous posts on this subject).

Eve on stilts

Sharon was most impressed with her new silks and beads 🙂

Aside from that it was a pretty quiet day – a good chat with the folks, an excellent Christmas dinner last night with a few friends, and a bit of a play with the new toys – a good time had by all 🙂

Merry Christmas everyone!